On August 3rd, 2009, Kathleen Briles was found deceased in her home by her spouse. Her spouse Dr. James Briles attempted to reach her via cell phone at 1936 hours, but the phone went unanswered. He arrived home at 1950 hours and discovered her body bound, hands and feet, as well as her mouth gagged. It appeared she had also been struck about her head with a cast iron antique sewing machine which was subsequently found to have caused her death.The affidavit also details how investigators built their case against Smith, namely by tracing items taken from the Briles home to a storage locker kept by the suspect.
The initiation of this investigation disclosed BRILES was last seen alive at the Publix Store in Palmetto, Florida, where she checked out after a grocery purchase at 1536 hours. On test drives, investigation revealed that it should have have taken her approximately six and a half (6.5) minutes to drive home.
Detectives also used his cell phone against him:
Delmer SMITH was developed as a person of interest and that he had a cellular phone, which the number was obtained and a search initiated to find his whereabouts during the time frame of this incident. It was discovered he used his phone at 1544 hours on August 3rd, 2009 for eight (8) seconds and his signal was recorded off of tower number 304 located at 910 77th Street East, Rubonia, Florida, which is 1.2 miles from the victim's home. Further investigation disclosed that the phone owned by Delmer Smith activated the southwest receiver on this cell phone tower in a direct line with the crime scene.